FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Feb. 16, 2016) – Henry Sims scored 20 points but the Grand Rapids Drive couldn’t take advantage of a short-handed Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Grand Rapids lost 105-97 to Fort Wayne on Tuesday night in front of 1,863 fans at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Drive led 89-86 with 6:35 left in the game, but Fort Wayne went on a 20-8 run to win it.
Grand Rapids, the affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, falls to 15-15 overall. It was the Drive’s first game in six days following the D-League All-Star Game break.
Sims, a 6-foot-10 center out of Georgetown, led six Drive players scoring in double figures. Devin Ebanks scored 17, followed by Kelsey Barlow (16), Dahntay Jones (15), Gary Talton (13) and Kam Holsey (13).
Fort Wayne found out just before the game that they would be without their two best forwards, Rakeem Christmas and Shayne Whittington. Players who are under NBA contracts get a mandatory week off for the NBA All-Star break. Christmas and Whittington are under contract with the Indiana Pacers.
“The NBA All-Star Game doesn’t co-inside with the D-League schedule,” Fort Wayne broadcaster Bill Hazen said on air before the game. “So a number of players, who are ready to go, will be sitting because of the current league rule. In fact, there was some confusion … there were some people in key positions that just learned about it in the past hour.”
Sims and Jones had back-to-back dunks midway through the third quarter to take a six point lead.
Kam Holsey came off the bench in the first quarter and scored back-to-back baskets to tie the game at 18-18. He led the Drive with 13 points at halftime, as Grand Rapids led 59-48.
John Lucas III led Fort Wayne with 26 points and C.J. Fair added 23. Former Grand Rapids Drive forward L.D. Williams played his first game with the Mad Ants. In six minutes of play, he had two points and two rebounds.
Grand Rapids returns home Wednesday night when it hosts the Sioux Falls Skyforce for a 7 p.m. game at The DeltaPlex Arena.